Over the years, I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know some of the top producers in our industry. I have become familiar with their business practices, their leadership styles, what drives their success, and what truly sets them apart.
There is one common denominator that I have noticed among all of these leaders: their investment in people. These individuals have built their businesses, and their lives for that matter, on the foundation of good people. They have a loyal following around them; they would do anything for these people and vice versa. These are what we call “unrecruitable relationships”.
In a recent conversation with one of these individuals, I learned that he would rather have a ‘B Player’ in his world than an ‘A Player’. He said he would rather have someone that is 100% loyal, committed, and takes direction, over someone who just performs well. That is how much he values solid relationships in his life and how vital he believes they are for his overall success.
How do you develop and nurture these unrecruitable relationships, and why are they so important? Let’s get into that now…
Become a Part of Your People’s Lives. Don’t just strive to be a part of your team member’s business, strive to be a part of his or her life. Carve out personal moments with these individuals and commit to pouring into him or her outside of the office. It’s not the commission splits, or the leads, or the profit sharing that will keep your people loyal, it’s about the irreplaceable relationships you create with them.
Invest Time in Your 20%. Rather than trying to establish relationships with everyone in your company, focus on spending time with the Top 20%. Get to know them personally and understand what makes them tick. Uncover where they may be struggling in their personal worlds and offer a helping hand when possible. Let them know that you genuinely care about them as human beings, not just as employees. These are the individuals that are already an integral part of your company’s success, so further pouring into them will be beneficial.
Additionally, by focusing on fostering relationships with your 20%, you are modeling behavior that will trickle down throughout your team. It is now their job to do this for the next level of 20%, and so on.
Relationships = Retention. As previously mentioned, by pouring your time and energy into and fostering meaningful relationships with your Top 20%, you are establishing a strong sense of loyalty which in turn creates increased retention. As we all know, these types of relationships and business partnerships are not easy to come by and, quite frankly, having a meaningful relationship or true friendship with an employee is not ‘normal’ in many businesses. That being said, if you continue to pour into your people and create unique relationships, they won’t leave you.